Fushimi Inari Shrine is famous for its thousands of vermilion torii gate. The Shrine was founded in 711 AD making it one of Kyoto’s oldest and most historic landmarks. If you are in Kyoto, Fushimi Inari Shrine should be in your bucket list too. This is another great spot to rent a kimono and shoot as many pictures as possible.
This is the main shrine of Fushimi Inari and behind it, there are thousands of vermilion torii gate waiting for you.
The shrine is at the base of the mountain which is name after Inari and it has many paths leading to the mountain. Some visitors would like to go hiking up to the top of the mountain. It takes about 2 to 3 hours depending on your speed and the crowd. At the summit, you are able to check out the view of Kyoto City.
Trying out kimono is an experience and even for some Muslim friends too, kimono with “tudong” the headscarf. 🙂 Still very pretty.
Shinto God of Rice
Inari is the name of the Shinto God of rice so it is very closely related to business as having good crops, meaning prosperity and good success in business.
Fox as a messenger
There are foxes throughout the complex of Fushimi Inari, these animals are said to be messengers for Inari God. Do look into the mouth of the fox, some of them are holding some objects, such as keys, rice paddy, jewels or a scroll of message. This is similar to Nara Kusage Taisha Shrine, where deer are the messager for the god there.
Kitsune in Red Bib
Have you wondered why some of the statues are in a red bib? These are pretty common in shrines in Japan. The other statues which can be easily found in Japan, the Jizo Sama, a baby looking statue (that’s dedicated to women who has lost their child), too has a red bid plus a red hat. By the way, “kitsune” is fox in Japanese.
10,000 Torii Gate Trail
It is common to find a torii gate in any shrine in Japan but in Fushimi Inari, there are thousands of them. Similar reason with the lanterns donation in Kusaga Taisha Shrine, each torii gate is donated by company or organization to show their gratitude and hope for good fortune in their future. The name of the donor is inscribed in black ink on each gate. In most of the shrines in Kyoto, there is a fee to pay to enter, but here at Fushimi Inari Shrine, it is free of charge. This is probably due to all the gates have been donated by a large number of companies, organizations, and people. Hence there is no need to charge the visitors anymore.
There is no closing time, literally 24 hours open. Some people prefer to start their hike from the evening so that when they reach the top of the mountains, it is completely dark and they can see the lights (night view) of Kyoto city. It can be a bit scary at night as there are not many lights along the path, you may need to use the flashlight from your cell phone.
Souvenir to bring home from Fushimi Inari Shrine
I think you can guess what it is. Anything related to the “Kitsune” or white fox, be it key chains, lucky charms or even Kitsune /white fox’s mask.
Ultra Mini Car in Japan
We spotted an ultra mini car on our way to the parking area. Such a compact car is said to be very popular in Japan but the maximum speed is only 60km/h. There are only 2 seats available. Don’t think you can drive this mini in the highway.
How to get here?
The Inari Station run by JR is located very near to Fushimi Inari Shrine. Once you reached the Inari Station, just walk for 5 mins to reach the Shrine. You can follow the crowd as most people are moving toward Fushimi Inari Shrine.
Our rental car cross over the rail track and Inari Station.
Fushimi Inari Shrine gets super popular after it appeared in one of the scenes in Memoir of the Geisha, a Hollywood movie. The thousand vermilion torii gates are the selling point here.